Kniess (Hussenbach / Yagodnaya Polyana)
There are four Kniess families that appear to be connected to one another. Their relationship with each other, if any, needs further research. Three have been located in the Volga German colonies of Hussenbach and Yagodnaya Polyana.
Three arrived from Lübeck at the port in Oranienbaum on 15 September 1766 aboard the galliot Johannes under the command of Skipper Stahl and travelled together from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767.
Two have been located in the German village of Sellnrod. One is recorded to be from the German village of Ulfa, about 20 kilometers south of Sellnrod.
(1) Johann Heinrich Kniess, a farmer, his wife Anna Kunigunda, and daughters (Elisabeth Margaretha, age 23; Anna Elisabeth, age 21) arrived in Oranienbaum.
Joh. Henr. Kniess, his wife Cunigunda, and daughters (Margaretha, age 23; Anna Elisabeth, age 21) are recorded on the list of colonists being transported from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records that Johann Heinrich Kniess came from the German region of Darmstadt.
(2) Another Johann Henrich Kniess, his [new] wife Helena, and [step-]children (Johannes [Luft], age 18; Anna Maria [Luft], age 16) are recorded on the list of colonists being transported from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767.
Johann Heinrich Kniess [not Kless], a farmer, and his wife Gertrude settled in the Volga German colony of Yagodnaya Polyana on 16 September 1767. They are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 17 along with his stepchildren (Johannes Luft, age 20; Anna Maria Luft, age 18 - whose mother had died during the journey to the Volga region) and Johannes Koch (age 14).
The 1767 census records that Johann Heinrich Kniess came from the German village of Ulfa in the Büdingen region.
There are no known surviving male lines of this Kniess family among the Volga German colonies.
(3) Johann Conrad Knöß, son of Johannes Knöß & Elisabetha Catharina Funck, was born 27 December 1713 in Sellnrod and baptized there on 29 December 1713. He married in Sellnrod on 14 July 1740 to Anna Maria Horst from Groß-Eichen.
The baptism of one daughter has been located in the parish register of Sellnrod: Catharina Elisabeth, born 14 September 1745, baptized 16 September 1745.
Johann Konrad Kniess, an innkeeper, his wife Anna Maria, and daughters (Anna Elisabeth, age 25; Katharina Elisabeth, age 21) arrived in Oranienbaum.
They settled in the Volga German colony of Hussenbach. Their daughter Anna Elisabeth Kniss is recorded on the 1798 census of Hussenbach in Household No. Hs073 as the wife of Jakob Keib.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records that Johann Konrad Kniss came from the German region of Darmstadt.
(4) Johann Ludwig Knöß, son of Andreas Knöß & Anna Elisabeth Möll, was born 9 April 1722 in Sellnrod and baptized there 12 April 1722. He married in Sellnrod on 25 February 1745 to Elisabetha Catharina Rahn, daughter of Johann Jacob Rahn & Anna Margaretha Matthes. She had been born in Sellnrod 7 November 1717 and baptized there on 10 November 1717.
The births of 4 children to Johann Ludwig Knöß & Elisabetha Catharina Rahn are recorded in the parish register of Sellnrod: (1) Johann Conrad, born 6 January 1746; (2) Johann Nicolaus, born 16 February 1749; (3) Anna Elisabetha, born 20 March 1752 [died 20 November 1819 in Sellnrod]; and (4) Maria Elisabetha, born 16 March 1755, died 29 September 1759.
Father Johann Ludwig Knöß died in Sellnrod 14 November 1755. His wife died there on 13 September 1782.
Their two sons (Conrad & Nicolaus) arrived in Oranienbaum.
Conrad Kniess (age 20) and Nicolaus Kniess (age 18) are recorded on the list of colonists being transported from St. Petersburg to Saratov in 1767.
They settled in the Volga German colony of Yagodnaya Polyana on 16 September 1767 and are recorded there on the 1767 census in Household No. 43.
The widow of Nikolaus Kniess and their children are recorded on the 1798 census of Pobochnaya in Household No. Pb06.
The Oranienbaum passenger list records that both Konrad and Nikolaus were innkeepers while the 1767 census records that they are farmers.
The 1767 census records that the Kniess brothers came from the German village of Sinrot [Sellnrod] in the region of Darmstadt.
- Mai, Brent Alan. 1798 Census of the German Colonies along the Volga: Economy, Population, and Agriculture (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1999): Hs073, Pb06, Yp03.
- Mai, Brent Alan, trans. & ed. Transport of the Volga Germans from Oranienbaum to the Colonies on the Volga: 1766-1767 (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1998): 3154-3157.
- Parish register of Sellnrod (LDS Film No. 1201577).
- Pleve, Igor. Einwanderung in das Wolgagebiet, 1764-1767 Band 2 (Göttingen: Göttinger Arbeitskreis, 2001): 177, 184.
- Pleve, Igor. Lists of Colonists to Russia in 1766: Reports by Ivan Kulberg (Saratov: Saratov State Technical University, 2010): #6318, #6326, #6327, #6328.
- Rauschenbach, Georg. Deutsche Kolonisten auf dem Weg von St. Petersburg nach Saratow: Transportlisten von 1766-1767 (Moscow: G.V. Rauschenbach, 2017): #8095-8098, 8116-8117, 8279-8282.
- Stahnke, Günter, ed. Ortsfamilienbuch Sellnrod [Online].